The Mind Set Of A Day Care Provider
An Article Written by Janet K. Irwin

The mind set of a day care provider is influenced by many factors. It includes the following but is not limited to this list.
  • Their family structure while growing up
  • Their educational background
  • Their family structure while they are providing care and any changes that occur while they are providing care
  • The environment in which they provide the care
  • The ages and sex of the children in their day care program
  • The family structure of the families of the children in their day care program
  • The climate in their neighborhood with regard to how the neighbors feel about a program in their midst
  • The attitude of their spouse concerning the day care program
  • The attitude of their children concerning the day care program
  • Their own feeling of self worth
  • The ability of the provider to interact with other day care provides
  • The ability of the provider to have a positive relationship with the licensing agency
  • The ability of the provider to have a positive relationship with a resource and referral agency
  • The opportunity for the provider to be involved in a support group for providers or a local or state association
  • The connections that the provider has within their community i.e.. the school, the library, the nursery schools, other providers, the health dept.
Looking at this list, it is easy to see that occasionally or even on a daily basis a provider is pulled in many different directions. It may be from their own family, the children they care for, the parents of these children, the licensing agency, their food program vendor or any number of other forces. Some of this is well within their control and some of it is beyond their control.

We must understand that there comes a point that we must draw a line. We must learn to put the needs of ourselves and our families and our businesses first. Yes, we have parents and children who depend on us. We must be sure though that we do not allow them to be so dependent on us that we become enablers of behavior that is unacceptable. We must find ways to be sure that the parents actually do the parenting and that the children are just that, "children".

We cannot constantly make allowances and changes in our policies that disrupt our family schedules and time. Our families already make great sacrifices because of the nature of our business. We should not be afraid to do what is necessary in the business in order for our families to function well. When we actually do these things we find a hidden respect for ourselves and from the families we serve. If you are not finding respect from the families you are providing a service for you may need to rethink providing services for them. Mutual respect is a two way street. Without this respect you cannot and will not have a positive relationship with the child or the parent.

Please take time to think about the list and how it impacts you and your family and your program. We provide a service that has become necessary for many families. It is not a luxury for many but a definite need to survive in today's world. For others it is an avenue to pursue further wealth. The perceived need on our part should not be something we are concerned with. Our concern should be to provide the best care for each child presented to us. When we get caught up in the perceived need we and our families suffer.

In closing please take some time to look at the list in this article and think how each of these things impacts our ability to go about our daily rounds of providing care and then the after hours needs placed on us by our families. This thing that we do, this all encompassing thing that we do in providing child caring services is not a state secret. It is something that needs to be nurtured and contemplated and shared with each other. We need to be here for each other, but first we need to be here for ourselves and our families.

Janet K. Irwin 2/12/2000

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